One of the main roles of a public relations professional is to be up-to-date and in the know about the most current media technology. By being aware of the latest trends, and knowing how to utilize them, you can put yourself and your organization ahead of the game. These abilities will make you an incredibly valuable employee. The hard part is figuring out what is on trend before it is too late and you’re behind the times. Being behind won’t help your employer or your clients in the long run, so this should be a major focus of your skills. The good thing is you don’t need to be a psychic to keep up with media, but rather just observant. Pay attention to what others are doing and tools they are employing to figure out what you’re missing. Sometimes the technology may not exactly be “new” but something that people are starting to use in more ways. Some older media, like Facebook or Twitter, are still consistently used today and often in new and creative ways, hence their appeal. Being observant will reveal the skills you need to be harnessing for the future, but in the meantime we will give you a few that will make you more successful today.

Understand SEO

Knowing and understanding the basics of SEO is easily one of the most beneficial skills for a PR professional today. SEO, short for search engine optimization, is the practice of inserting keywords and content onto your website that will make it come up at the top of web searches. Essentially you just need to think of what your target audience is going be searching for online and set up your website to reflect these searches in a way that best fits your site. For example, here at DNA we want our website to be easily found when people are looking for a public relations firm that specializes in nonprofit work in the Upstate. So our online content reflects this, through the use of our informational content and blogs. Being able to identify main keywords and integrate them into a website will significantly benefit any organization.

The Ability to Blog

The more companies can add new information and be relevant online the more traffic they will receive. Having people on staff that can blog is the most efficient way to accomplish this. Understanding the importance of blogging, and having the skill set to write blogs on a regular basis would make you an attractive asset to a company’s staff. Blogs allow you to be creative and share your ideas, so they can be fun. What is important to remember is to keep the blogs concise and relevant to the work you are doing. A perspective clients might read one of your blogs and use it get a feeling of how you work or your company can provide them, so a good blog will also show off the skills and tools that you posses.

Be Interactive

Keeping a blog is just one way to be interactive, but an almost more important way is by using social media. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest are some of the most dominant and utilized sites to create interaction with the public. Being able to keep up with these different forms of social media should be a requirement for a public relations professional. Any professional should know how to use social media to create positive perceptions or effective PR campaigns for a company. Sometimes this will mean knowing how to respond best to negative publicity, and social media is the fastest and most visible way to reach your audience. Having good social media relations can make a company or break it, so know how to most effectively use it.